University Evangelical Lutheran Church
and Campus Ministry

The Lampstand - October 2022
Our Mission

UELC's Mission:
To Embrace and Share the Love of God in Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit Empowers us.

UELC's Guiding Principles:
Jesus is our Lord and Saviour; therefore, we are to:
  • Worship God in inspiring, diverse, and creative ways
  • Be a community engaged in spiritual practices that attune us to the Holy Spirit's guidance for our living
  • Welcome all people in their diversity to worship, learn, and serve with us
  • Be a safe place to learn, explore, and debate
  • Be generous stewards of the gifts God has given each of us to bless others and care for the natural world
  • Continue outreach to, and further develop connections with, the academic communities of Alachua County
  • Affirm human rights and work for social justice
Pastor's Corner

As I write, Florida is preparing to be hit with a hurricane. The whole state is under state of emergency orders, some predictable, some just in case. People are buying water and propane, boarding up windows, bringing in things that normally “live” outside.

Some folks are very worried, because they have had lots of flooding and wind damage in the past. Some are not worried much, if at all. “We normally get a lot of rain, but nothing more.” Today, we know that the track of the storm is not set, and the actual path will be something of a surprise.

That’s how it is with life. Although we know the general path our life will take, we know there will be bumps and side trips along the way. There will certainly be construction zones here and there as well. While we occasionally forget that God never leaves us, it’s best if we remember we are never out of God’s watchful gaze.

And, it’s the same with congregations. There are storms, bumps, side trips, and construction zones. Congregations in transition experience a lot of bumps and side trips, and occasional construction zones. They will cause the congregation to assess their current path and determine if there is a somewhat different track that God is now urging them to take.

The future is not set, any more than a hurricane’s path is set when it first forms. It may take us a while to determine exactly where we are headed. But the future is surely guided by God. Let’s trust that the new path is just where God is calling us to be next.

Pastor Lynn
President's Notes

Dear UELC family,

The council met on September 27th as we prepare the arrival of Hurricane Ian and pray all will be safe in the path of the storm!

 In addition to the regular council meeting, the council also met with Pastor Rob Carlson during his visit to UELC on September 22nd to reflect on and discuss our church congregation.

At the monthly council meeting, we reviewed and submitted a sustainability survey as requested by the Synod. Many thanks to Rachel Cook for coordinating the responses and to all those who provided input.

There are several exciting things planned for the remainder of the year and I will mention just one for now. On Reformation Sunday (October 30), we are planning to hold a “UELC History Event” after worship. This exercise is one of the first parts to the transition process as laid out by the Florida Bahamas Synod. This will be a time for us to remember and reflect in order to put our congregation’s history into focus and identify any trends.  The Campus Ministry group, working in conjunction with our Hospitality team will be hosting a meal to coincide with this event. Please mark your calendars for this fun event. We will have a virtual option available for those who are unable to attend in person.

As we approach the end of the year and look towards the Annual Congregational meeting, the nominating committee will be putting together a slate of candidates for various positions within the congregation. Please prayerfully consider if a position on council, the audit committee or the nominating committee might be a place where you can serve and use your gifts.

And we are most pleased to welcome Ana Mattos as our pianist!

Best regards,
Becky Borgert
Welcome to Ana Mattos-Lebron!!!
Ana, our new pianist at UELC, is a graduate student at UF studying music education and performance (clarinet). She also assists with the Gator Marching Band and has a busy first semester! Already we enjoyed a meditative clarinet prelude to worship and look forward to more of her musical offerings. Ana comes to us from Lake Worth where she attends a Lutheran Church; her father is Music Director at Ascension Lutheran Church in Boynton Beach. She received a Bachelor of Music Degree at Florida Atlantic University where she won numerous honors and awards.

We asked Ana some questions to find out more about her and her experience so far at UF. 
Of all the achievements/awards listed on your resume, of which are you most proud?
One of my most proud achievements is actually being a teacher to my private clarinet students. I love inspiring young students to achieve their goals and encourage them to give their best in anything they set their mind to. One of my former students made it into a prestigious arts program in South Florida, and as her teacher, it was very rewarding to see her achieve one of her main goals at her age.

Being part of the Gator Marching Band must be a special experience. What types of things do you do before and during the football games for Marching Band?
As part of the Graduate Student team of the band, we do not perform with them, but rather teach, figure out logistics, and help out with anything else that the band needs. Each graduate student is assigned a section of the band—I am with the clarinets—and we ensure that they are as successful as they can be when on the field. Typically, on game days, we are at rehearsal with them at 8am for about two hours, some graduate students are then assigned to drive our van to the stadium, which has some ladders for the drum majors, fruit for the band after half time, and duffle bags for the plumes that they wear on their hats. When we get to the stadium for the game, after they perform “pre-game,” we are responsible for handing out water and collecting their plumes from their hats. The same process happens after half-time. After the third quarter, some graduate students are assigned to drive the van with the ladders and the plumes back to the band building and put all of that away. Game days are overall very long days, nonetheless a very cool experience!

You share an apartment here with a couple other students, right? How is that going?  How do you get to your classes? 
As a new graduate student at the University of Florida, I share an apartment with three other young women my age. My experience with them as been great so far as they are very considerate, neat, and kind people, and we get along really well! Most days I will take the bus or carpool with a friend to school, and I occasionally will drive on the days that I have to stay on campus past 6pm, just to feel a little bit safer when going home so that I am not taking the bus too late.

What's been the most surprising or interesting thing about studying/working at UF or living in Gainesville? 
I think one of the most surprising things about being in Gainesville so far is – and this is kind of funny – how long the traffic lights take. Sometimes I’m stuck in a traffic light for up to 6 minutes! Something else that is not necessarily surprising, but has taken some getting used to is the fact that it rains almost everyday here and there are gigantic bugs that will just fly straight to your face. As far as working/studying at UF, I love the fact that the community of students here is extremely helpful and kind, which has made my transition here a lot smoother. Many people are always willing to go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable, even in the more stressful situations.

What do you hope to do once you complete your studies here?
I hope to go on to get my doctorate, with the goal of teaching at a collegiate level one day. I want to explore as many areas of music as possible and be open to any opportunity that comes my way.
What else would you like to tell us about you and your interests? 
Back home I have a dog named Ester. We rescued her form the shelter when she was very weak and skinny. She resembles a mini-Golden Retriever and is a very sweet and loving dog. She is now doing much better and is even running around every chance she gets! When I am not doing music stuff, I love to cook and explore new recipes. I also love watching TV shows and movies, and getting informed on the artistry behind films.

Thank you, Ana! We’re glad to have you here!
Campus Ministry / HAT Lunch and History of UELC
Congregations in transition benefit from reviewing their history and noticing patterns and trends. On October 30, after a celebratory lunch offered by HAT and Campus Ministry, we will take some time to share the history of University Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Yes, there is a basic history on the website, but many of you have memories of people or activities that flesh out the basics. Please come in person or online to rediscover UELC, decade by decade.

More details will come as they are decided. Questions? Ask Pastor Lynn
Summary of Steps in Transition Process
October Servants

Sunday, October 2
Preacher: Ps. Lynn Fonfara
Assisting Minister: Sam Borgert
Altar Guild: Jackie Klein
Lector: Sandy Bauldree
Ushers: Ron Fourman, Andy Noss
Sound Assistant: Melissa Singer
Video Assistant: Wilson Matungwa

Sunday, October 9
Preacher: Ps. Lynn Fonfara
Assisting Minister: Ron Bauldree
Altar Guild: Joan Anderson
Lector: Rick Dienhart
Ushers: Jeanne Chamberlin, John MontMarquette
Sound Assistant: Melissa Singer
Video Assistant: Wilson Matungwa

Sunday, October 16
Preacher: Ps. Lynn Fonfara
Assisting Minister: Melissa Singer
Altar Guild: Elaine Manion
Lector: Sam Brill
Ushers: Ron Gordon, Ron Fourman
Sound Assistant: Amy Schirmer
Video Assistant: Wilson Matungwa

Sunday, October 23
Preacher: Ps. Lynn Fonfara
Assisting Minister: Abby Knappman
Altar Guild: Pat Dasler
Lector: Rick Dienhart
Ushers: Roger Springfels, Andy Noss
Sound Assistant: Melissa Singer
Video Assistant: Wilson Matungwa

Sunday, October 30
Preacher: Ps. Lynn Fonfara
Assisting Minister: Ron Bauldree
Altar Guild: Jackie Klein
Lector: Joan Anderson
Ushers: Jeanne Chamberlin, Ron Fourman
Sound Assistant: Melissa Singer
Video Assistant: Wilson Matungwa
UELC People

Did you know?

Anyone in the congregation who is experiencing financial difficulties due to the ongoing pandemic, please reach out to Pastor. We have a "discretionary fund" that might be able to be utilized to assist those who find themselves in this situation.

UELC Council
Wednesday Evening Study
Let’s try this. I envision the evening study to include a variety of topics, chosen by participants. We’ll meet on Zoom for about an hour on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7pm.
This first one will get us started: “The Kingdom of God: What does it mean for God to be in charge?” by the Rev. Mark Allan Powell.

New Testament scholar Mark Allan Powell looks at a widely used biblical image and invites us into a discussion of what it might mean for Lutheran believers today. The phrase “kingdom of God” and similar expressions turn up repeatedly in sayings of Jesus, so understanding what that expression means helps us to make sense of numerous parables and popular Bible passages (including the Lord’s Prayer).
There may be some surprises: the phrase refers to an activity, not a location—and it has nothing to do with God being a “king,” at least so far as that image suggests a (usually male) tyrant who gives orders and dominates the lives of his subjects. 
Powell is author of the world’s best-selling New Testament textbook and editor of the Harper-Collins Bible Dictionary.
The Zoom link will be sent to all. Please join us as you are able.
God's Work, Our Hands on September 11
Food insecurity is a continuing problem around the world and in our area too. 

Thank you all for your generous donations that were distributed to Gainesville Community Ministries and the UF Field and Fork Food Pantry!

Offering Direct Deposits

It is Sunday morning and you are on your way to church. Part way there you remember you have not written a check for the offering plate.
It is another Sunday morning and you are sitting in the sanctuary you write a check and slowly you attempt to remove your check from your check book as quietly as possible.
It is another Sunday at church and you realize that your offering check and envelope remain at home on your dresser.
These are some of the ways that the use of direct deposit helps UELC to receive consistent income to pay its bills.
If you wish to learn more about the use of direct deposit, contact Jim Yale to get set up. 

Due to the Covid pandemic LIFT (Lutherans In Fellowship Together) has not met for its monthly potluck luncheons for the past two years. We plan on restarting the luncheons by the summer of this new year. Of course, that depends on a lessening of the impact that Covid-19 and it many variants have on our lives. Let us all be responsible and stay safe. 

Ron Bauldree
LIFT coordinator 
Young Adult and Campus Ministry

Weekly meetings continue every Thursday at 5:30 pm for dinner and a program. Details about a fall retreat are coming soon. For inquiries, please contact Peer Ministers Wilson Matungwa at or Joel Beaudry at

And thank you to the gameday football parkers!
The Bee

A total of 21 fleece throws and 30 books were given to the Guidance Department of Parker Elementary to distribute to the students there in need of a little extra boost in their lives. This Book & Blanket Bag project is ongoing throughout the school year.
Family Promise

Two mothers and four children called UELC 'home' during the week of Sept. 18-25, our last Family Promise hosting of this year. Thank you to our volunteers who enabled their safe shelter, healthy meals, and a warm environment to play and chat. Although both mothers had jobs that caused them to arrive late some evenings, I think all who met these two families found them fun and engaging. For the first time in a while, the Lutheran Gators were able to host the families (with Jeanne at the chef helm) on their weekly Thursday evening meeting. As in August, our volunteer numbers were graciously supplemented with a few from our support congregation, Holy Faith. 

Thankfully, our host week ended before the threat of Hurricane Ian. Family Promise of Gainesville moved families into a hotel to ride out the storm and alleviate pressure on the host church that week. They put out a call for gas and grocery gift cards to help all FP families in shelter (not just those in the congregation rotation program) prepare for the storm. Although it's too late for that drive, gift cards are always welcome and the stack likely needs replenishing. Contact me at amy_schirmer if you'd like to contribute gift cards for gas, Publix, Winn-Dixie or Aldi. 

The Fall Fundraiser surpassed its goal to raise $30,000 with its annual luncheon hosted at First Presbyterian Church on Sept. 22. UELC donated $500 toward the effort, and a month before we gave $300 worth of gift cards for families. For more information on the happenings at Family Promise of Gainesville, join their group on Facebook and/or visit the website at

Thank you for your support! Amy: amy_schirmer
September 1, 2022

Dear University Evangelical Lutheran Church

Thank you for your donation of $300 in Publix gift cards.

We rely on such donations to help sustain us throughout the year. In 2021, we served 56 families and provided more than 900 rental and utility assistance services. However, there are still over 600 children who were identified as homeless within the Alachua County school system. With your help, we are working to end childhood homelessness in our community.

With gratitude,

Jayne Moraski
Executive Director, Family Promise of Gainesville
Village of Hope

UELC sponsors a total of 16 students at VOH. Some sponsors paid for the entire year and others are making monthly payments.
From VOH’s website:
Please continue to pray for peace and safety in Haiti and Village of Hope. Your prayers strengthen us and give us hope for a brighter future.
There is still time to sponsor a child. Contact Janet Janke for more information.
Family from El Salvador

The Family from El Salvador is finding a new life of safety and well-being in Gainesville. Carlos has his work permit and is very eager to work. He is now training as a city bus driver (filling a great need there) and learning English rapidly, moving ahead despite injuries sustained on his journey through Mexico. Estefani has been in the U.S. just over a year now and their baby son is learning to walk. The oldest daughter has started middle-school and reportedly is making good grades. The middle daughter keeps them all busy with her playfulness. The family members are very close and appreciative of support that this community has offered. It will be some time before any decisions are made about their permanent status in the U.S. Students from UF and others in the community have been involved in tutoring. Westminster Presbyterian and Holy Trinity Episcopal congregations manage the financial details and others are making sure their legal obligations and medical needs are met, as well as offering social interactions that introduce them to the area. Thanks also to ULC members who have contributed support funds in the past. Gainesville is indeed a Welcoming City.

--Joan Anderson
Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice (IAIJ)

The Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice (IAIJ) is a coalition of groups supporting various entities that are impacted by immigration policies, including asylum-seekers, farmworkers, and people in ICE detention.

You may be aware from news broadcasts that there is increasing concern and heightened awareness of abusive conditions at the Baker County Detention Center where people awaiting immigration hearings are incarcerated. Volunteer visitors with Baker Interfaith Friends have been receiving reports of medical neglect and a range of human rights violations that culminated in a hunger strike at the facility last spring. Retaliation was swift for those involved but repercussions were widespread, alerting a number of groups throughout the state who became involved in seeking accountability from immigration and prison officials. This summer the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Florida delivered civil rights complaints and eventually called for closure of the detention facility. The Gainesville IAIJ signed on to the complaints along with other groups statewide. (Baker Interfaith Friends, the volunteer visitation group, is not publicly involved.) This is very much an on-going issue with many people involved. I am happy to speak with anyone further and hope that all will stay informed about immigration issues.

--Joan Anderson
Pinelands Conference Fall Gathering
Our Pastor and Staff

Pastor Lynn Fonfara
Pastor, Congregation and Campus Ministry

Amy Schirmer
Music Ministry Coordinator

Ana Mattos-Lebron

Evelyn Simmons